Thursday, June 3, 2010

Winchester, Virginia

We were off to a slow start this morning which was a very pleasant change from our early morning rush to get to the trail.  After consulting with Tony and Diana, we decided today would be good for touring historic Winchester.

Abrams' Delight, the oldest house in Winchester

This area was first settled in the early 1700s and was known at that time as Frederick Town.  During the middle of that century, a young George Washington came to town as a surveyor and later was appointed to build Fort Loudoun and defend the Virginia border from the French and Indians.  This morning we toured the small building which housed Washington’s office during the beginning of the Fort Loudoun construction.

Gen. Stonewall Jackson's headquarters

Like most towns in Virginia, Winchester saw its share of action during the Civil War.  Located at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, it was a coveted position of both the Union and Confederate Armies.  It has been said that Winchester changed hands as many as 70 times during the War.  After our lunch at the downtown pedestrian mall, we toured the home which served as Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s headquarters during the winter of 1862.

The Public Library

Between visits to these two historic structures, I was able to get a few photos of several other old buildings.  Since I didn’t have a “walking tour” map of the historic district, I can’t put a name to these structures.  Most are occupied today by businesses or private homes.

Old Courthouse

Today, Winchester has a population of about 25,000 and remains the county seat of Frederick County.  With its close proximity to DC, several daily shuttles make visiting the Capitol an easy day trip from Winchester.

Tomorrow, we will continue to explore historic Winchester and visit the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

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